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Use of legumes in organic dairy herds with a focus on milk production, milk quality, and phytoestrogens: generation and transfer of knowledge

Grant number: 23/10330-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2024
Effective date (End): August 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Animal Husbandry - Animal Production
Principal Investigator:Luiz Carlos Roma Júnior
Grantee:Luiz Carlos Roma Júnior
Host Investigator: André Fonseca de Brito
Host Institution: Instituto de Zootecnia. Agência Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegócios (APTA). Secretaria de Agricultura e Abastecimento (São Paulo - Estado). Nova Odessa , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of New Hampshire (UNH), United States  
Associated research grant:17/50339-5 - Institutional research development plan of the Animal Science Institute (PDIp), AP.PDIP


The organic milk production has been gaining area in the market and is expected to continue growing. Despite being an alternative to solve some issues related to food safety, public health due to resistant bacteria, and animal welfare, it still faces several challenges. The production systems must be well-planned to overcome the challenges of using organic feed for animals, dealing with lower animal productivity, production costs, and also ensuring access to specialized technical assistance. By combining some aspects in research projects aimed at improving nutrition and milk quality, it becomes an important path in search of sustainability alternatives for organic producers. The present proposal is based on the integration of a research and extension project to generate knowledge about organic milk production and quality in the northeastern region of the United States. The research and extension project will be carried out with the organic dairy herd at the University of New Hampshire, and another stage will involve collaboration with groups of organic dairy farmers. The goal is to provide farmers with information and strategies for the integrated management of grasses and legumes, considering aspects of production and milk quality. Throughout the experiments, insights into the use of legumes, their impact on milk quality, and the presence of phytoestrogens in milk will be gained, which can guide future research and extension activities. The project will also include an extension aspect, where the information generated will be transferred to farmers and other professionals through technical events and digital media. The overall objectives are to increase knowledge about the use of legumes in organic cow diets, evaluate species with high and low phytoestrogen content, monitor phytoestrogen levels in milk and forage samples from organic commercial farms, and develop and provide educational programs for organic milk producers on advanced legume management to increase milk production and quality through webinars, workshops, and demonstrations. (Project USDA n. 1023638, NH.W-2020-02151). (AU)

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